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How to Tell if Your Child is Delayed in Hearing and Speech

 How to Tell if Your Child is Delayed in Hearing and Speech

During the first 12 months of their lives, children develop at tremendous speed. Within the first six months, they should be babblers, and by their first birthday, they should have said their first word.

As a parent, it's natural to be concerned if your child isn't saying as many as 20 words by the age of 18 months.

It is important to remember that each child develops at their own pace, yet it is also significant to consider their developmental milestones. To see how many boxes your child is checking off, consult a standard speech and language development checklist.

Few parents still use the "wait and see" strategy. If your child is already showing signs of speech delay, we recommend consulting with a speech therapist as soon as possible.

The team at Pedia Plex offers a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to give clients the highest quality of care. If you’re concerned that your child may have a speech delay and want to know the next steps, you’re at the right practice. 

In one convenient location, we offer multiple therapies, including speech therapy. Scheduling a visit with a speech therapist is a wise step if you’re concerned about your child’s speech development. Through comprehensive speech testing, such as articulation and language testing, we gain insight into your child’s understanding and use of language and determine whether your child has a speech delay. 

You’re in good hands with our specialists — once we determine through testing that your child has a speech delay, we create an individualized treatment program and work closely with your child to meet targeted goals and improve their speech, keeping you tuned in every step of the way. Read on to learn some of the top signs that your child may need speech therapy. 

Lack of babbling by seven months of age

Children typically begin babbling between the ages of 4 and 6 months. If your 7-month-old isn't babbling yet, it’s normal to be concerned.

If tests indicate that your child has normal auditory functions, it may be time to consult with a speech-language pathologist (SLP).

Inconsistent speech

Incoherent speech is common in very young children. They sometimes invent new words to express themselves. This isn’t a cause for concern as long as their errors are consistent.

Inconsistent speech can be defined as the same word being spoken differently throughout a person's speech. For example, your child may want to say "goodbye," but instead says "tie," "pie," or "die." This may be a sign of childhood apraxia of speech (CAS).

Trouble with certain sounds

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), children with speech disorders may have difficulty producing p, b, m, h, and w sounds in words for the majority of time from 1 to 2 years old, and/or difficulty pronouncing k, g, f, t, d, and n from 2 to 3 years old. When they are 2 to 3 years old, their speech may appear generally unclear and difficult to understand.

If your child has trouble with certain sounds, it’s helpful to consult with a speech therapist. 

Not gesturing by one year of age

Your child should be pointing at things and waving to people by their first birthday. Some children make fewer gestures than others. However, pay attention if your child does not make any gestures. This is a sign that you should first consult with your pediatrician to investigate possible causes.

The absence of gesturing is sometimes an early sign of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). When started early, speech therapy for autism can significantly help a child develop speech and language skills.

Lack of response to verbal requests

Children aged 12 to 24 months should be able to understand simple spoken requests. If your child does not appear to understand your instructions, he or she may be experiencing language development difficulties and should be evaluated. 

Children who don’t speak much at all, or have trouble with certain letters may have a speech delay. Recognizing signs early helps your child receive the very best care in the form of an individualized speech therapy program. \

To learn more, give us a call to schedule a speech evaluation at one of our offices in Southlake, Fort Worth, or Frisco, Texas.

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